Pope denies audience with Pompeo; Vatican warns against playing politics over China

30 September 2020, 8:01 PM
The Vatican said on Wednesday it had denied a request from Mike Pompeo for an audience with Pope Francis, and accused the Secretary of State of trying to drag the Catholic Church into the US presidential election by denouncing its relations with China.
Australia’s Victoria reports 800th COVID-19 death, other states ease restrictions 1 October 2020, 4:19 AM

Australia's second-most populous state - epicentre of the country's COVID-19 outbreak - reported its 800th death from the virus on Thursday, although case numbers held steady.

Mainland China reports 12 new COVID-19 cases vs 19 a day earlier 1 October 2020, 3:59 AM

Mainland China reported 12 new COVID-19 cases on September 30, down from 19 a day earlier, the country's health authority reported on Thursday.

Cuba lifts Havana lockdown as coronavirus cases fall 1 October 2020, 3:34 AM

Cuba said on Wednesday it was lifting a curfew and partial lockdown in Havana, in place since September 1. to contain a second wave of the new coronavirus.

No clear link between school opening and COVID surge, study finds 1 October 2020, 3:23 AM

Widespread reopening of schools after lockdowns and vacations is generally not linked to rising COVID-19 rates, a study of 191 countries has found, but lockdown closures will leave a 2020 “pandemic learning debt” of 300 billion missed school days.

Northern California wildfire death toll rises to four as crews scramble to beat winds 1 October 2020, 2:47 AM

The death toll from a wildfire raging in northern California’s Cascade foothills climbed to four on Wednesday as firefighters battling that blaze and another wreaking havoc in wine country near San Francisco braced to confront a new bout of high winds.

English COVID-19 prevalence high but growth slowing: Study 1 October 2020, 2:10 AM

The prevalence of COVID-19 infections in England is much higher than it was at the end of August but there are signs that growth in infection rate is slowing, a study by Imperial College said on Thursday.

Germany issues coronavirus warnings for Belgium, much of France 1 October 2020, 12:34 AM

Germany declared regions in 11 European countries to be areas where there was an elevated risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus, while existing warnings about parts of Belgium were extended to cover the entire country.

Recording of Breonna Taylor grand jury proceedings in Kentucky to be released 30 September 2020, 2:36 PM

A recording of grand jury proceedings into the death of Breonna Taylor is due to be made public on Wednesday, offering an inside look at the case presented by the Kentucky attorney general that resulted in police officers being cleared of homicide charges.

US presidential debate described as a ‘disaster’ 30 September 2020, 7:11 AM

The US Presidential Debate was a showcase of personal attacks and chaotic exchanges in a 90 minute head to head in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday night.

Chaos reigns in first Trump-Biden debate 30 September 2020, 5:11 AM

Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden battled fiercely over Trump’s leadership on the coronavirus pandemic, the economy and the integrity of November’s election in a chaotic first debate on Tuesday marked by personal insults, name calling and Trump’s repeated interruptions.

Takeaways from first US presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden 30 September 2020, 4:22 AM

President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, are meeting in Cleveland on Tuesday for the first of three debates ahead of the November 3 election, when Trump is seeking a second term in office.

No handshake at start of first Trump-Biden presidential debate in age of coronavirus 30 September 2020, 3:48 AM

Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden did not shake hands or wear masks as they entered their first White House debate on Tuesday, adhering to protocols on social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Australia’s Victoria marks steady downward trend in new COVID-19 cases 30 September 2020, 1:47 AM

Australia's coronavirus hotspot of Victoria state maintained its steady downward trend in new infections on Wednesday as states began easing internal border closures, fuelling optimism about a return to normal.

Republicans stay loyal to Trump despite concerns about his taxes – Reuters/Ipsos poll 30 September 2020, 1:26 AM

A sizable minority of Republicans say US President Donald Trump has not paid his fair share of taxes and worry that his family business has influenced his decisions in office, yet most are still voting to give him a second term, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling released on Tuesday. 

UK reports record daily figure of 7 143 COVID-19 cases 30 September 2020, 12:43 AM

Britain reported 7 143 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, the highest single figure to date, and 71 deaths, the biggest toll since July.

New Yorkers face fines for refusing to mask up after coronavirus uptick 30 September 2020, 12:08 AM

New York City will impose fines on people who refuse to wear a face covering as the rate of positive tests for the novel coronavirus climbed above 3% for the first time in months, Mayor Bill De Blasio said on Tuesday.

Azerbaijan and Armenia reject peace talks as Karabakh conflict zone widens 29 September 2020, 8:27 PM

Armenia and Azerbaijan accused one another on Tuesday of firing directly into each other’s territory and rejected pressure to hold peace talks as their conflict over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh threatened to spill over into all-out war.

VIDEO: 75th session of the UN General Assembly 29 September 2020, 2:45 PM

The United Nations is holding the 75th session of its General Assembly amidst a global pandemic brought on by the recent outbreak of the new coronavirus - COVID-19.

Global coronavirus deaths surpass 1 million – Reuters tally 29 September 2020, 4:52 AM

More than 1 million people have died of COVID-19 around the world as of Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally, with the pace of fatalities picking up as infections again surge in several countries.

Australia’s coronavirus infection trend falls in hotspot state 29 September 2020, 4:36 AM

Australia’s coronavirus hotspot state of Victoria on Tuesday reported 10 new infections in the past 24 hours, turning around a second contagion wave that only last month was infecting over 700 people every day.

Netherlands tightens coronavirus rules amid second wave 29 September 2020, 3:31 AM

The Dutch government on Monday announced a raft of new restrictions to slow a second wave of coronavirus infections, including earlier closing times for bars and restaurants and limited travel between major cities.

Trump, pressured over pandemic, says states will receive 150 million tests 29 September 2020, 2:09 AM

President Donald Trump, under fire over his handling of the coronavirus epidemic, announced on Monday the federal government would ship 150 million rapid tests to US states and warned an increase in positive cases is likely in the days ahead.

Pelosi says Democrats unveiling new COVID-19 aid bill 29 September 2020, 1:21 AM

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday that Democratic lawmakers were unveiling a new, $2.2 trillion (R37 538 600 000 000,00) relief bill, which she said was a compromise measure that reduces the costs of the economic aid.

New York’s positive COVID-19 test rate inches up as cases climb in other states 29 September 2020, 12:46 AM

The percentage of COVID-19 tests taken in New York state that have come back positive has inched up to 1.5%, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday, a worrisome trend for the former epicenter of the US coronavirus epidemic.

Poorer countries to get 120 million $5 coronavirus tests: WHO 28 September 2020, 9:51 PM

Some 120 million rapid diagnostic tests for coronavirus will be made available to low- and middle-income countries at a maximum of $5 per unit, the World Health Organization said on Monday.

Trump says he paid millions in taxes, plays down concerns about debt 28 September 2020, 8:42 PM

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he paid “many millions of dollars in taxes” but was entitled to depreciation and tax credits and also said he was under-leveraged, having more assets than debt.

Pelosi rallies U.S. House Democrats on possible presidential election decision 28 September 2020, 7:09 PM

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi is rallying Democrats to prepare for a once-in-a-century election scenario requiring Congress to decide the outcome of the presidential race if neither Democrat Joe Biden nor President Donald Trump wins outright.

China holds simultaneous military drills in four seas, again 28 September 2020, 3:07 PM

China began five military exercises simultaneously along different parts of its coast on Monday, the second time in two months it will have such concurrent drills against a backdrop of rising regional tension.

Infographic | Top 10 countries with highest COVID-19 deaths 28 September 2020, 1:04 PM

Over one million people have died from the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease worldwide. The disease, which has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), has infected millions of people globally.

Trump frequently didn’t pay federal income taxes in years leading up to presidency: Report 28 September 2020, 10:40 AM

President Donald Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017, after years of reporting heavy losses from his business enterprises to offset hundreds of millions of dollars in income, the New York Times reported on Sunday, citing tax-return data.